April 12th, at around 2:30 AM.

It's weird how well you can get to know someone. And how well I've come to know her. If I close my eyes, she's there. So lifelike in my own mind that it's like I could reach out and touch her.

Not that I would. Or could. I just like thinking about her.

The way she moves is graceless, clumsy--especially when it comes to stairs. She has to grip the dirty hand railing no matter which way she is traveling on a flight of stairs. Up, or down. I think she has a fear of falling.

Or maybe it's the embarrassment that would come after falling. Yes. That seems more like her.

She hunches over the ratted notebook she holds against her chest. So you need to watch out when she straightens her shoulders, her jaw setting as her chin lifts. That's when you should turn and run because she's finally mustered up enough courage to take your words and spit them back in your own face.

Her hair curves with her body and waves around in the wind, as though the strands are calling out to the nearby passerby, searching for a friend in the thick crowdedness of a foreign group of people.

She dresses differently everyday, as her mood changes. Sometimes she's an elegant nerd, with rounded glasses so big they shield most of her face. Sometimes she resembles a punk rock band member, with a leather jacket and lace up boots, eyeliner, and nails painted a reflective black. As the week wears on though, her nail polish chips and she evolves into this normal girl who fits in with the crowd, and doesn't stand out. These are my least favorite times because sometimes I can't find her. And it's like she was a dream, a fictitious character my lonely mind conjured up to keep me company.

It makes sense. It's not like we've even talked. I've just watched her, following her, going unnoticed every day.

She loves libraries. She's been to seven different ones in the last two months. And every time she gets inside she plops down in an empty chair, in some abandoned corner, plugging her earbuds into her ears, and tilting her head back as the music overwhelms her. She doesn't even move as she listens. She just breathes, as if each note was cleansing her broken body.

I've seen her scars. She hides them under her jackets and cardigans. Whenever I catch a glimpse of one something overwhelming swells up inside of me, making me feel like a bloated water ballon. My insides slosh around as I try to figure out how someone so beautiful could do something so hurtful to themselves. Why would you scar yourself? Isn't the pain of the world real enough for her?

Her laugh solidifies me. Making my water ballooned bones turn into iced plastic. I become rigid, my eyes closing as I take in the sound. It's like a soft ringing. Wind chimes in the soft wind. The sound of grass bending in the breeze. And the silence right before a loud crash or boom or attention grabbing noise.

Her words and inner workings are probably what I cherish most. You'd think, someone who looked amazingly good even if she were dressed as a tight-collared, gothic magician or even a preacher's daughter in her Sunday best, wouldn't be able to have anything but her looks going for her.

But of course, you'd be wrong. Her mind is made of complex layers that are full of emotional structures and memories. Words are strung together in a carelessly abandoned manner, put into these phrases that could persuade or offend--doing whatever it is they are meant to achieve. She takes care in what she says aloud, but her brain begs to release what it has conjured up. Sometimes her hands let it out through a pen, or even the keys of a computer's keyboard. And when you catch a glimpse of it--of what she has to say--you want to step back. Then step forward again to fully analyze and understand her riddles.

She's alone, just like me. So all she has is what life has handed to her. And because life can be so utterly stupid, it has stripped her more than it has clothed her. Sometimes she lays bare and naked, tracing the lines of her visible bodily cracks in the dark solitude of the night. She feels her brokenness, and--knowing there is no hope for healing--doesn't complain. She takes whatever life hands her with her hunched shoulders and black nails and soft laugh. She allows life to deal because she knows she can beat it, even if it cheats.

She isn't a pawn in this game. She's the queen.

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